Friday, August 22, 2014

Back to Work

Well, only for a week (and thank goodness it's only that!) this week was professional development for teachers and students return next week. I can't believe summer is already over; I mean, I just had this baby last week!

 But somehow here we are, in the dog days of summer and all the stores are full of shiny new supplies. It was a hard week to work since the little guy is still waking in two-hour cycles at night, but it really didn't want to "waste" a week of maternity leave on PD, since these are arguably the easiest weeks of the year. 

We are incredibly blessed that Will's job is flexible enough that he can work from home if he needs, so he was able to stay home or watch Munchkin. We did hire a babysitter for this afternoon to make sure Will could get in all his hours, but it was a pretty good week for everyone overall. 

On Monday, Will brought Jonah up to my school to bring me lunch and so that I could feed him, and Will was all dressed up and gloated that Jonah had slept practically all morning. When I got home it was more of the same- Jonah had slept and been so easy and blah blah blah. I was a bit upset since that is definitely not how the majority of our days go. I mean, I usually only count on one or two actual legitimate naps per week and here we are with the baby sleeping all day.

I think Will had a reality call, though, because on Tuesday when I got home and I asked how everything went, the response was something along the lines of, "He. Wouldn't. Let. Me. Put. Him. Down. All. Day."  Hahaha

It was really hard to leave Jonah for so long, and I am so incredibly thankful that I still get to stay at home another ten weeks. However, I think it was really good for me to be forced to leave him for such extended periods of time and see that we can, in fact, do it! He did well with his bottles, even though he would initially get pretty upset when he realized how fast he had finished it. I was able to pump in my classroom when I needed, and overall I was able to get just about as much milk as I needed. We're actually freezing the fresh milk and giving Wee Man frozen milk since it will expire next month. I plan to try and continue to put back at least three ounces a day for "just in case." I think the majority of moms worry about not pumping enough once they go back to work and I don't want to be on a day-to-day basis. Being a pumping high school teacher will definitely be a unique challenge because I won't be able to take a break whenever I need, but rather only during my conference and lunch. I also plan to pump just before and after the bell rings so that I get four sessions in during the day, even though they won't be evenly spaced. 

I am excited for the weekend and the opportunity to spend more time with my boys. We are meeting my dad and stepmom for dinner tonight and tomorrow Jonah and I are heading back up to my classroom to finish getting it ready and the. We'll help my sister-in-law finish moving into her apartment. Sunday we have church and a community prayer event. I will work on Monday for the first day of school to meet the kiddos, and then I am officially off until the first week in November. 

Monday, August 11, 2014


A love letter to my first-born, composed last week.


The sun has set
The lights are out
Your diapers whirl in the washer 
I'm not sure how I'll manage to get them hung out when they've run their course.
The rest of the house sleeps except for you, me, and the TV.
Your little body curls in close 
Your tiny hand, so purely soft, gently tickles my side. 
Your tired head is beginning to nod into me as your hungry suckles slow. 
I am tired. Weary, even. 
This parenthood thing is harder than I ever dreamed. You have changed me in ways I never thought possible. My mother-love is fierce. My mother-love caught me by surprise. My mother-love has even crippled me in the eight short weeks it's existed, worrying about you. Why aren't you sleeping more? Are you eating enough? Are my choices going to screw you up for life? God, please don't let me screw him up.

We're on our tenth episode of the fourth TV series we started since you came home. It turns out my baby likes to eat every two hours. And he likes to take forty minutes to do it. It wasn't but three or four weeks ago that you needed to eat for hours, almost nonstop, in the evenings, leaving me raw and begging for mercy and sleep. Now you're not eating nonstop, but we still don't climb into bed until the clock rings in the new day, because when I try to sneak us in before that your protests only lead to tears and frustration from your momma. 

I look back on these past eight weeks and I cannot believe we are here. We have come through so much. 

You were taken from my womb for your birth, and then you were taken from my room a few hours later. I felt you would never come home. I wept for you. For the time I felt was stolen from us. I wept when I had to leave you, alone with no momma to hold you in your hospital cradle, every night. 

And then you came home and the tears kept flowing, but this time it was my new-momma hormones. It took almost five weeks before a day passed without my tears falling. They were mostly happy tears; falling  in love with your baby is quite an emotional thing. But I was also panicking. Everyone says "they grow up so fast," and they couldn't be more true. I have begged time to slow, for your tiny wrinkled hands to stay newborn size forever. But time is our thief, and he is cruel indeed. You have kept growing; you weighed in at eleven lbs today. The days have passed and we have gone through highs and lows. 

Tonight you lay in my arms as you always do. Your sleep breaths are a little snaggled, but you are content. One hand has gone limp, but the other you placed on my chest, just over my heart. 
I will hold you here, even though my tummy rumbles and your diapers need to be hung. I could lay you down and try to sleep a few hours until you're ready for your next meal. But time is a cruel, cruel thief. And beg though I do, you are growing and changing before my eyes. I know in the blink of an eye that you will suddenly be crawling, then walking and running. Kindergarten is just around the corner, and then you'll be walking across a big stage to Pomp and Circumstance and telling family where you have chosen to go to college. 

So sleep tightly here with me my precious first born. You made me a mommy. You have changed my body, my mind, and my soul. I love you with a love I never thought possible. There will be sleep for me in many years. But right now, I will cherish your sweet milky breath and nuzzling mouth. I will study your thickening eyelashes. I will feel the warmth of your tiny body against mine, knowing it won't be long before you'll be bigger than I.
The TV plays in the background. The clocks tick as the thief continues to steal from us. Daddy and the pups try to catch a little sleep. But you and I, we will sit here on the couch and soak these fleeting moments into the very fibers of our being. 

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